The Committee on Public Information was established by President Woodrow Wilson on April 13, 1917, at the beginning of the US participation in World War I. The CPI, under the leadership of George Creel, was set up to write and distribute war time news to US newspapers. The CPI also encouraged Americans to help fund the war effort through war bonds and also urged citizens to plant . Through several different vehicles-- ads, newsreels, speeches and news stories-- the CPI built enthusiasm for the war effort and kept morale high.
American companies took advantage of the widespread patriotic spirit and found success associating consumer product marketing with the war effort. Advertising for pens, soap, clothing and many other products featured bold war-time illustrations and copy reflecting the pervasive patriotism of the times.